2018 has been a great year for sneakers. Not only have we seen some of the best new drops, companies have also collaborated with numerous designers, influencers, style gurus, design houses and various other companies, taking some of the great sneakers in order to produce even better silhouettes.
The biggest problem I faced this year, as I’m sure many others have too, was choosing which sneakers to cop and which to let slide, even though you still really, really wanted them.
So, we take a look back at the year that has passed, featuring the best sneakers we’ve featured on Fortress of Solitude through the many brands we’ve partnered with. Hang onto your wallets, though, you may be freshly tempted yet again.
Disney X Vans
The excitement was real, which even beat out the hype surrounding the Marvel X Vans collection, which was also teased a few weeks earlier. The collection featured a mix of old and new silhouettes, as well as a look back at the history of the much-loved Disney character, Mickey Mouse, who celebrated his 90th anniversary in November.
Hi-Tec HTS74 Silver Shadow RGS
When the collection was first announced sometime back in August 2018, the HTS74 SS18 collection was one of the sneaker collections on my radar. It was a long 3-month wait before it reached the official announcement was made as to which silhouettes would be dropping in SA, with another month before they officially became available. The standout of these is definitely the HTS74 Silver Shadow RGS in a Fiery Red colourway.
adidas Originals By Pharrell Williams SOLARHU
Pharrell has always had a style that’s quite out there by normal conventions. That said, pushing the limits is what makes his collaboration with adidas Originals all that more appealing, which is also true for the adidas Originals By Pharrell Williams SOLARHU collection. This is a collection with a purpose, aimed to highlight the peaceful, meditative nature of running. I’m not sure about the running aspect, but these sneakers are amazing.
Afew X BEAMS X ASICSTIGER Orange Koi
The GEL-LYTE™ III has been around for almost three decades and has seen quite a few iterations and colourways over the years. With the collaboration between Afew, BEAMS and ASICSTIGER, the silhouette has never looked better. The colours, detailing and limited-edition packaging makes the Orange Koi a work of art.
PUMA x Atelier New Regime
This was definitely a collection that took me by surprise. Each of the silhouettes from the drop was styled with additional details in bright colourways making them stand out from the pack. I was lucky enough to get my hands on a pair of Tsugi Jun sneakers from the collection. Not only are they extremely comfortable, but they literally turn heads wherever I go. The Canadian streetwear label Atelier New Regime has definitely upped the game when it comes to the collaboration game.
Yeezy Boost 700 Mauve
Many would argue that the Yeezy should definitely be on the list of best sneakers for 2018. While I personally don’t feel that it deserves the honour of one of the best looking sneakers of 2018, it’s worthy of an honourable mention only because of the hype surrounding the Yeezy Boost 700 Mauve silhouette created. With raffle tickets sold out in mere minutes, even on the shores of South Africa, there was huge interest regarding these. I’m still not sold on the look.
PUMA Suede 50 Celebration
2018 marked the 50th anniversary of the PUMA Suede, first launched in 1968 and made famous American athlete and silent activist, Tommie Smith. The silhouette became one of the most important in sneaker history. The Suede 50 campaign has seen numerous collaborations throughout the year, hitting the mark with each and every one of them.
adidas Originals X Dragon Ball Z Collection
Celebrating one of the most popular anime to have ever hit the screens, adidas Originals struck gold with the collaboration with Toei Animation for the adidas Originals X Dragon Ball Z collection. Having first released in 1989 as a manga, it still remains an integral part of modern pop culture. The collection features a series of silhouettes from the adidas Originals archives, each paired with a special character from the Dragon Ball Z series.
Vans X Van Gogh Museum
This has to be one of the strangest collaborations I came across in 2018, but it worked. The drop created a lot of buzz with the Van Gogh Museum, which extended to our site as well. The Vans x Van Gogh Museum Collection is literally art.
PUMA RS Range
This was one of the biggest launches of the year, which is actually still ongoing in spin-offs from the range. The RS sneakers were launched with numerous collaborations, featuring the likes of SEGA, Polaroid, Roland and Ader Error, some of the biggest brands of the 80s, from which the collection is based. The RS-0, RS-100 and the RS-1 all form part of the iconic range, with the RS-Computer leading the way as the main silhouette from the launch, based off of the original silhouette from 30 years back. Subsequent releases feature additional collaborations with brands such as Hot Wheels.
Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “Origin Story”
Drawing its inspiration from Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse‘s main character, Miles Morales, who wears the red, black and white sneakers in the film. The Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “Origin Story” has sold out in most countries across the world, even after restocks. It’s proving to be one of the most popular and certainly one of the best sneakers of the year.